Summary-Testimonial of Your Season

I'd like to ask each and every coach on this email list to consider writing a short summary-testimonial about your season. It is a great way to re-live the experiences, especially the powerful moments, the memories that will last a lifetime. It also gives you a chance to share your perspective with other SportsLeader coaches - to encourage and embolden one another.

Coach Todd Naumann has started us off ... let's keep this going.

Virtue = Strength, Lou Judd

Faithful Not Successful

Having coached high school football for 18 years now I am keenly aware of the fact that the Lord has a great way of teaching me many lessons that I need to know.  The lessons that I have learned over the years haven’t always been ones that I was particularly interested in, but they have been vitally important.  

This was my first season as the offensive coordinator at Archbishop McNicholas High School in Cincinnati Ohio.  Our team came off a difficult 2011 (2 wins and 8 losses) campaign only to make tremendous strides this year (7 wins and 4 losses, League Champions, State Playoffs).  Under the leadership of head coach Mike Orlando and with the support of Lou Judd we implemented SportsLeader this season, and our young men grew by leaps and bounds.  Father/Son jersey night, letters to mom, and countless hours of virtue-based mentoring made a dramatic difference for our team.   

Our season came to end this past Saturday night with a difficult 37 to 35 loss in the first round of the state playoffs.  As a competitive person, I have never enjoyed losing.  However, through my many years of coaching I have come to appreciate the great lessons a loss can teach.  I must say that in some strange way there is no greater joy than comforting your players after a difficult defeat.  I can’t adequately put into words what it means to hold a young man in your arms that has poured his heart onto the field only to come up short.  The tears that flow from both the player and coaches’ eyes seem to have their origins in a place much deeper than the football field.  It is clear that the sadness one experiences at that moment comes from deep within the heart. 

Sports are unbelievable gift to us!  Sports give players, coaches, and fans alike the opportunity to come to know the Lord in a more profound way.  The platform that we have been given as coaches to help a young person fulfill their God-given potential is unmistakably powerful.  As coaches, we are called to a mission much greater than the pursuit of any championship trophy!  Our goal is to make a difference in the lives of our athletes for eternity.

The wounds are still fresh and the loss from Saturday night’s game still resonates in my heart.  I wanted to win badly, but I really wanted to spend one more afternoon on the practice field with the young men I have grown to love and respect.  Their courage, charity, a humility have been an unbelievable witness.  The football players at Archbishop McNicholas High School taught me lessons that I once again needed to learn.  These student-athletes constantly helped to remind me of the man I have been called to be.

As the final seconds ticked off the clock and the tears began to flow, my heart broke for the young men that had sacrificed so much this season.  Yet as we shared in those precious moments after the game I was reminded of what the great game of football is really all about.  You see, ultimate victory will never be effectively measured on the scoreboard.  Our true goal is to help make a positive impact on the life of a young person forever.  As Mother Teresa correctly said, “God has not called me to be successful; he has called me to be faithful.”  It is in faithful service to our athletes that we will have success beyond our wildest dreams!

All my best to you and your athletes,

Todd Naumann